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ACAC Women's Basketball Preview for 2012

01/05/2012 - 01/04/2012 - This is the third in a series of previews for ACAC men's and women's basketball, hockey and volleyball as we head into the second half of the 2011/2012 season.
ACAC Women’s Basketball Preview for the New Year 2012.

We asked the ACAC women’s basketball head coaches three quick questions.

1: How has your team played so far into the 2011-2012 season and have they lived up to your expectations?

2: Who are your two or three main players you look to lead and why?

3: Who are the three main teams in women's basketball to challenge for the ACAC title?

North Division

Grant MacEwan Griffins: 10 won,0 lost, 72.8 points per game offence, 50.6 points per game defence
Top Scorer: Kristen Monasterski, 13.10 ppg
Top Rebounder: Kristen Monasterski, 10.10 rpg
Top Assists: Cortney Knox 3.70 apg
Head Coach Rob Poole

“Our team has played well in most of their games this year and we are on course to achieve our season performance goals. We have had different players play well in different games and we are continuing to improve as we progress through our season.

“ Kristen Monasterski, Courtney Knox and Bayan Kurd have provided our team with leadership both on and off the court so far this year. They are experienced players who provide senior leadership to our first year players. They are respected by their teammates for the contributions they make to allow us to be a strong cohesive group.

“MacEwan and Mount Royal are on top based on their season records to date. There are far too many teams in the next bracket who are capable of being there at the end of the season to select one. The competition will be outstanding to see who will remain when it comes down to the Final 4 at the end of the season.

“From my perspective the best story I have to share with the rest of the ACAC is all of our players are academically eligible to play with us for the remainder of our season. They have achieved success both academically and on the court in the first half of our season.

Lakeland Rustlers:  6 won, 4 loss, 68.0 ppg offence, 64.9 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Amy Warbick, 12.10 ppg
Top Rebounder: Cameo McKerlie 7.70 rpg
Top Assists: Amy Warbick 2.90 apg
Head Coach Chris King

“I think we have played average so far this season. We are still an extremely young team in terms of ACAC experience but we are becoming more consistent every game. We were close to our first semester expectations but we still have areas that need to improve in order to meet our team goals.

“Point guard Amy Warbrick has been very good for us this season. Her skill level is as high as any guard in the conference and she has the ability to take over a game in a matter of seconds.

“Forward Amanda Carlton brings a unique skill package to our team and a high level of competition. Like Amy, she usually creates matchup problems and she is a player that enjoys pressure situations.

King's Eagles: 6 won, 4 lost, 73.8 ppg offence, 69.3 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Tamara Deunk, 15.10 ppg
Top Rebounder: Tamara Deunk, 9.20 rpg
Top Assists: Jessica Anderson 4.40 apg
Head Coach Ossie Hinds

“If this team wants to raise a championship banner at the end of the year, we must also take pride in our defence. We can definitely score the basketball based on our first semester stats but can we defend? That will be the question his team has to answer in the second semester. Opening weekend they compete against the Mount Royal Cougars who are ranked 5th in the nation (CCAA) and currently sit first in the ACAC south.  They put on their uniform the same way we do and they are coming into our house.  I truly believe we are ready for the challenge. The Eagles are very confident at home as they won all of their league home games in the first semester. My team has been on a roller-coaster so far this year as we split four out of our five weekends. In saying that, we competed every night and are currently top three in the we are living up to expectations

“The Eagles are led by second team all-star Tamara Deunk who leads the north in scoring with 151 points shooting an amazing 52 % from the field.  Not far behind is former first team all-star Karina Leslie who is averaging 13.50 ppg and shooting 51% from the field.  Eagles also have perimeter scoring in Samantha Tennant, Alexa Sackela-Geiger, Julie Heavenor and Chelsea Dyck. Julie has 19, Sam has 17 and Chelsea has 15 made three point field goals already and Alexa has already surpassed her point total from her rookie year. The first three players coming off the bench for us will be the main players to provide a spark for my team as most team prepare well for the starters but struggle when I have a difference maker coming off the bench

“Any team can win the championship this year but based on record so Grant MacEwan, Mount Royal and Lakeland.”

NAIT Ooks:  5 wins, 5 losses, 60.2 ppg offence, 55.6 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Josephine Peacock,  13.60 ppg
Top Rebounder: Josephine Peacock, 9.00 rpg
Top Assists: PJ Wells, 1.80 apg
Head Coach Todd Warnick

“ In regards to our play and my expectations. With nine freshman and two transfers this season our youth has led to inconsistency however we have continued to learn and improve each game out and I am excited for the second half.

“Our team is anchored by fourth year forward PJ Wells and third year guard Josephine Peacock. Both are veteran players in the ACAC who previously played under me while I was the coach at Concordia. Both bring solid leadership and proven production to our team.

“MacEwan is the class of the ACAC being undefeated and firmly in the driver’s seat.

Augustana Vikings, 5 wins, 5 losses, 62.8 ppg offence, 62.6 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Kari Kubinec, 14.10 ppg
Top Rebounder: Kelsey Lund 9.90 rpg
Top Assists: Monique Jarrett, 2.90 apg
Head Coach Leanne Shenton

“It is a very tight league this year and every game matters.  We have lost some close ones and won some as well.  The team has not aged up to their potential yet so we are excited for the second half.

“Every individual on our young team is important.

Concordia Thunder:  3 wins, 7 losses, 58.8 ppg offence, 63.5 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Cara Zamburek, 11.50 ppg
Top Rebounder: Sasha Warmington, 8.10 rpg
Top Assists: Stephanie Balog 2.10 apg
Head Coach Ashley MacSporran

"Concordia struggled in the first semester. With eight new players joining the team, we were young and had a lot of learning to do.  There were a few weekends where we did not play to the ability we can.  We ended on a strong note, going 1-1 with NAIT.  We look forward to second semester and playing strong, hard, smart Concordia basketball.

"Steph Balog and Kaylie Mattitussi are the key players to watch this semester.  Both struggled to find their new roles as point guards. I believe both are on the verge of stepping up and leading the team.

Grande Prairie Wolves:  3 wins, 7 losses, 56.0 ppg offence, 67.9 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Kelly O’Hallahan 12.10 ppg
Top Rebounder: Katarina Fialova 6.60 rpg
Top Assists: Lenka Tohova 2.30 apg
Head Coach Dave Waknuk

"I feel that we are a team that played many opponents tough and improved as the season went on, playing solid basketball as the first semester ended.  I am excited for our team's continued improvement in the second semester.

"We are being led by two players on different ends of their playing careers, as fifth year guard,Lenka Rohova and first year guard, Kelly O'Hallahan have been our leaders with their strong play and efforts.  Rohova leads the team with her consistency and composure while O'Hallahan has become one of the top scorers in the league despite being a rookie.

“MacEwan looks to be the team to beat this year, with Mount Royal, Lethbridge and Lakeland all being strong competitors for the championship

Keyano Huskies:  2 wins, 8 losses, 59.4 ppg offence, 76.5 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Nicolle Mackenzie  16.17 ppg
Top Rebounder: Nicolle Mackenzie   7.67 rpg
Top Assists: Vanessa Wideman 4.80 apg
Head Coach Dwayne Vigilance

“We lost some players but our core seven are still there. We hope to knock off a few people and our goal is to win three games in the second half. Our lack of size has hurt us.

“Nicholle Mackenzie is our key player but she has had a knee injury and right now we are managing her game time and practice time.”

South Division

Mount Royal Cougars  8 wins 1 loss, 73.0 ppg offence,  57.1 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Emily Larson 13.78 ppg
Top Rebounder:  Kristen Docherty 5.78 rpg
Top Assists: Katie Pearson 2.56 apg
Head Coach Joe Enevoldson

"So far the season has been an incredible success. The student-athletes have worked extremely hard both on the floor and in the classroom. We are looking forward to seeing what the second half of the season will bring.

"We have had a great team effort to our season with seven players averaging over six points per game. Second year player Danica Rybachuk and returning All-Conference and Academic All-Canadian Emily Larson have been our leaders to date so far and we will look to them to continue to lead us in the second half of the year in our quest for an ACAC title and a berth to the CCAA National Championships.

"In the North Division and in the league overall, MacEwan has been the dominant team and whomever will win the ACAC this year will undoubtedly have to go through them. Lakeland is also a very good team and will be incredibly tough down the stretch. In the South, Lethbridge has quietly been a surprise and with the addition of Lisa Ivanics after Christmas will be very very tough, as they will also represent as at the CCAA National Championships.

Lethbridge Kodiaks: 7 wins, 3 losses, 58.6 ppg offence, 59.7 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Jenelle Gieske, 11.70 ppg
Top Rebounder: Brittany Pekar, 8.80 rpg
Top Assists: Lindsay Pierson, 4.40 apg
Head Coach Avery Harrison

SAIT Trojans:  6 wins, 4 losses, 66.2 ppg offence, 56.4 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Rachel Caputo 21.10 ppg
Top Rebounder: Meachel Camahan 5.70 rpg
Top Assists: Jordyn Rabbitt, 3.80 apg
Head Coach Donovan Martin

"Our team is about where they should be since they are very young (only two returnees).  Hopefully they can build on the two big wins vs. Medicine Hat that they finished the first semester with. The big thing they need to achieve is consistency.

"We depend on All-Canadian Rachel Caputo to lead us game-in and game-out with her scoring.  Also Jordyn Rabbitt at the point with perimeter shooting and ball control and Kaitie Beard and Meachel Carnahan inside with rebounding and scoring.

“Grant MacEwan, Mount Royal and Lethbridge.

Medicine Hat Rattlers, 5 wins, 5 losses, 65.8 ppg offence, 63.3 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Tianna Holt 11 ppg
Top Rebounder: Landace McClughan 6.90 rpg
Top Assists: Courtney Heinricks 3.70 apg
Head Coach Jason McLester

Red Deer Queens: 2 wins, 7 losses, 53.1 ppg offence,  63.3 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Karlen Majcher, 9.33 ppg
Top Rebounder: Erin Wiersma 7.33 rpg
Top Assists: Sara Astorga 1.67 apg
Head Coach  Dawn Smyth

Briercrest Cliippers: 1 win, 9 losses, 46.9 ppg offence, 616 ppg defence
Top Scorer: Val Robinson 10.30 ppg
Top Rebounder: Claire Richardson,  8.60 rpg
Top Assists: Brooke Olmstead, 2.60 apg
Head Coach Chad Romanuk

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